By Johnny P.
Ahh, the Halloween season. When the hot Summer sun begins to fade and Autumn leaves fall from their trees, rustling in the wind. The smell of sulfur carries on as teenagers set firecrackers off into the night. Halloween is the time of year where everyone dresses up in their funniest, freakiest and sexiest costumes, portraying pop-culture icons, historic villains and terrifying monsters for an alcohol fuelled night of sin. And possibly candy.
For us introverts, however, Halloween can hold a different meaning. Rather than being forced to haggardly do the walk of shame while dressed as a zombie-nurse on the morning of November 1st, many of us will opt to stay home to hand candy out to the kiddies. Or, we may shut the lights, hop on the couch and use our lack of partying to binge watch films of a horrific or thrilling nature. Here are some dark cinematic tales revolving around socially inept characters and singular locations that will give introverts goosebumps on a stormy Halloween night.
Donnie is a troubled high-school teen who suffers from hallucinations and schizophrenia. He survives the freak accident of a jet engine crashing into his bedroom, gaining a new perspective on the meaning of life. After coming in contact with a giant, grotesque, imaginary black rabbit by the name of Frank who claims the world only has 28 days left, Donnie finds himself lost in time-travel, trying to uncover the secrets of the universe before the planet’s end.
It’s hard to decipher the difference between Donnie’s imagination and reality. This psychological science fiction thriller put actor Jake Gyllenhaal on the map, as Donnie goes through a plethora of emotions including fear, loneliness, hope and love. Like many introverts, Donnie feels like a bit of an outcast, extraditing himself to isolation and choosing to work through his problems mostly on his flawed own.
Max is a mathematician who suffers from social anxiety disorder, cluster headaches and paranoia. He believes the entirety of life can be analyzed and answered with numbers. Jobless, he locks himself inside his tiny apartment and has dedicated his life to solving an equation that he thinks can unlock the universal patterns of our world. The use of voice over narration by our main character gives us a deep insight into his anxious and paranoid psyche.
I know a movie about math doesn’t seem all that appealing, but Max’s surrealistic journey to cracking this code is both thrilling and enthralling. This is the directorial debut of filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, who is known for other darkly captivating films such as Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan and his most recent release Mother!
We all know what it’s like to be alone, most of us enjoy it. But what if we woke up one morning to find ourselves alone, trapped inside a suffocating casket with no recollection of how we got here?
Paul, who is portrayed by Ryan Reynolds, experiences just that. He awakens buried alive with no memory. He finds a zippo lighter and cellphone, for which he receives messages from his captors. Paul uses this same phone to contact an operator in hopes of getting saved. The entire film revolves around Paul and Paul only, taking place entirely inside the coffin. The use of tight cinematography is suffocating, making you as an audience member feel trapped inside with our main character. For a movie that takes place in one spot, with one person, it’s a thrilling ride from beginning to end as we hope for Paul to be saved.
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Our home is a safespace. Introverts find comfort in the protection within our walls. We spend the days catching up on rest, relaxation, or at-home work (such as writing,) and spend the nights in luxurious slumber, free from worry. But then you enter dreamland and things that should be normal suddenly feel off putting. You hear tantalizing whispers echo from various directions. And then… a man with completely burnt skin stabs you to death with his glove of razor blades. Except when you die in this dream, you don’t wake up.
Given how much introverts love some good ol fashioned shut-eye, this 1980s classic makes a perfect film to surely keep you from voluntarily drifting into your relaxed subconscious. Stay awake, or Freddy’s gonna get ya!
A classic haunted house tale with a modern twist. Anyone who has even a slight interest in horror knows about Paranormal Activity, the found-footage film that became a box-office sensation in the early 2010s. Utilizing the “home-video” feel, a couple find that their house is being haunted by an invisible demon, torturing them throughout the nights.
The realistic approach is enough to send chills down the spine of any homebody. The cold breeze against your neck, the slight tug of your bedsheets, the cold, dead stare of your significant other watching you sleep for hours. It was an instant classic and just might be one you don’t want to watch alone. Especially if you think your house is haunted.
Edward Scissorhands is the ultimate outcast. His scarred face, his sharp, scissor-blade hands and meek aura immediately made him stand out in the colourful and cheery neighborhood. It takes people awhile to warm up to Edward and vice versa, but eventually he finds his groove after they see he is non-threatening and kind-hearted. Being locked up in a house, miles away from anyone for so many years, he grew up socially inept and awkward.
This Tim Burton classic is not necessary a thriller or horror film, yet it contains very dark, gothic and fantastical elements that shroud you in an energy of black clouds. Edward has many introverted qualities that make him connectable to many of us and his love interest will grasp us, hoping he can break the mold of what he can achieve. A similar feat we hope to reach in our everyday lives.
Nina, portrayed by Natalie Portman, is a ballet dancer who lives with her overprotective mother. Nina hasn’t experienced much of life and therefore has an almost childlike innocence about her. She wants the lead role in the upcoming Swan Lake play. Despite her flawless take on the Swan Queen character, she cannot seem to perfect the role of the evil Black Swan, proving her innocent nature.
When Nina meets Lily, portrayed by Mila Kunis, she is forced into an experimental lifestyle of drugs, partying and sex, none of which she has experienced before. Overwhelmed, Nina goes through changes where she cannot tell the difference between reality and hallucination. It’s somewhat of a coming-of-age tale artfully told in a psychologically thrilling nature.
One of the most influential horror films of all time, the Shining tells the story of a writer who brings his family to watch over a giant hotel during the winter season. After being snowed in, the family finds themselves caged inside the haunted building.
As introverts, we often cage ourselves in areas on purpose. However, in this 1980s Stanley Kubrick film, when our protagonist can’t muster up the creative edge to pen his next story during isolation, he falls into a descent of madness, taking it out on the family. His son Danny also comes into contact with strange entities throughout the film, including the ever-famous ghostly twins. That being said, next time it snows, maybe go outside for a couple of minutes… before blood waterfalls out of your closet or something.